Stories

Accessible Galleries: The Discovery Room/Gallery

by Kate Zankowicz

1970s

In July 1977, the ROM’s Discovery Room opened and was billed as a “mini-museum for the blind.” It was called the first gallery of its kind in Canada, a learning environment that emphasized hands-on engagement with original objects and specimens. Visitors crossing the threshold of the gallery...

ROM's Champion

ROM's Champion

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1910s

The ROM is fortunate that Sir Edmund Walker believed in a museum for Toronto that would be both academic and public. He was able to gather all the stakeholders together so that the initial funding would be 50:50 government and university. As President of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, as well as...

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Theodore Heinrich is appointed Director, the first for a single ROM. He has come from New York and is a novelty in Toronto the Good.  A new era begins with a flurry of restructuring. Salaries are studied. When the subway is being built (in ’59), there is restricted access but the stop gets a...

Word Gets Around

Word Gets Around

by Estrella Trojman

2010s

  Our front desk staff are both welcoming and long-serving. Estrella Trojman recalls that once some Argentinian visitors came up to her. “Our friends in Argentina told us to go to the ROM when we were in Toronto and ask for Estrella, who speaks Spanish”.

Worlds to Explore

Worlds to Explore

by Julia Matthews

1990s

This assorted group came from many departments but the at the core were fast-learning librarians and library technicians. No one's job description mentioned the web: it was a volunteer effort. The ROM was a very early adaptor among museums. From the vantage point of twenty years later, it...

My Second Home

by Pamela Pal

2000s

I've been lucky enough to experience the ROM as a visitor, volunteer and staff member over the last almost 30 years of my life. I would completely credit the ROM with two huge things in my life - helping me figure out what I actually want to do with my life and helping to keep me calm at...

Eternal Issues

Eternal Issues

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2010s

Janet Carding reflects on issues specific to the ROM, especially space and growth.

Madeleine Fritz, Pioneer Scientist

Madeleine Fritz, Pioneer Scientist

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

There were many firsts for Dr. Fritz.. She joined the Palaeontology department in 1927, having completed her doctorate (the first woman to receive a PhD in Geology at U of T) under Dr. Parks. She loved teaching and was a prolific writer. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (the...

The Cost of Steel and Other Challenges

The Cost of Steel and Other Challenges

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2000s

William Thorsell talks about some surprises that contributed to the costs of Renaissance ROM.

Winnifred Needler

Winnifred Needler

by Annette Boenke-Jarek

1950s

Winifred (Friedl) Needler joined the staff of the Royal Ontario Museum in 1935 as a draughtsman-cataloguer.  She took a year's leave to study Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology, along with Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphics) at Yale, which study she continued upon return to the ROM under the...